Carbon emission Building Regulation changes: fully enforced

The government introduced carbon emission reducing Building Regulation changes in June 2022 and 12 months on they are now fully enforceable. The grace period is over, and as of 15th June 2023, all new projects must comply.

So how does it impact you as a builder today?

Job start date – when is it OK to use the old regs?

If you started on a project following planning permission before 15th June 2023 then you’re OK using the ‘older’ standards as per the planning application. To explain it in more detail:

  • Anything submitted to Building Control from 15th June 2023 – the new regulations apply.
  • If you managed to get ‘meaningful work’ on an approved project underway in the last 12 months – then the old regulations apply.
  • If you only submitted a building notice for your proposed project and nothing further happened, then the new building regs apply. The notice was not enough.
  • If you submitted a full plans building regulation application, then in order to retain ‘full plans’ status you may need to provide building control with updated and revised specification details to demonstrate compliance.

There could be additional charges – I would suggest you take advice on where you stand.

What is ‘meaningful’ work?

A “Commencement” of work for an extension / new build is classed as:

  • The excavation of strip foundation
  • The preparation of ground or raft foundation
  • The installation of pile foundations
  • The installation of drainage specifc to the project / plot

What are the new and updated documents?

  • Ventilation (Approved document F)
  • Conservation of fuel and power (Approved Document L)
  • Overheating (Approved Document O)
  • Supply of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points (Approved document S)

Read about the changes to the documents >>

HBXL’s EstimatorXpress estimating software and PlansXpress our CAD software, were updated to reflect the changes back in June 2022.

What’s the thinking behind the carbon emission Building Regulation changes?

These changes are really only a stop-gap before the Future Homes Standard is introduced in 2025, on the way to the UK’s proposed net zero status in 2050. You can read more here.

What are the changes to windows and doors?

The higher the U-Value the more easily heat is transferred which does not help with reducing carbon emissions. So the new regulations reduce the U-Value. Crystal Direct made the necessary changes 12 months ago. Crystal are our long-standing window and door partners and here, Tom Gorringe, Operations Director for Crystal Direct share the numbers:

  • U Values for replacement windows must be 1.4W or WER Band B or better. Doors must be 1.4W or DSER B – and C where the glazed area is > 60%
  • For new builds; windows and doors with more than 60% glazed require an overall U Value of 1.2W. You can specify products with lower U-values than these, since the new build thermal performance is calculated on complete building envelopes – the limiting value is 1.6W.
  • Opaque doors or semi-glazed doors (30-60% glazed area) require an overall U Value of 1.0. And again, the limiting value is 1.6W.

Tom and the team at Crystal will happily provide a detailed quote for windows and doors (whether you have EstimatorXpress and their prices or not). Just list the dimensions and spec information for a job and they’ll get back to you asap. Call them on 01462 489 900 or email

What do the changes mean to the homeowner?

Homeowners are becoming both more committed to their current homes and increasingly interested in efficiency. With the current cost of living crisis, they want help to conserve energy and keep the associated costs down. That means upgrades to windows, insulation and ventilation systems. The new rulings are good news for them. And if they are invested in reducing carbon emissions, even better. Yes there may be a price increase in some cases, but if any in-roads are going to be made in becoming net zero then it’s worth it. They get that. And the better your own green credentials the better. At HBXL we’ve recently committed to a Carbon Reduction Plan. ‘Going green’ is the way forward – even for your building firm!

What next?

So long as you use HBXL Building Software tools you’ll always be up-to-date with legislation. So book a short online demonstration of EstimatorXpress and PlansXpress or request a free 14-day trial. Give us a call on 0117 916 7898 and we can have a quick chat.